Dr. Kelly Posner of the Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian Hospital wants young people -- in college or not -- to understand that there are things one can do that can truly be lifesaving.
"If they refuse help, contact someone in authority immediately -- an angry friend is better than a dead one," Posner says in a statement. "Maintain contact until help is secured."
She notes that eight out of 10 suicides talk about their intentions. Posner says this may be stated directly: "I'm going to kill myself." Or indirectly: "You would be better off without me."
Asking the following questions may help assess the situation:
-- Are you thinking about hurting yourself or committing suicide?
-- When would you do it?
-- What would you do?
-- What method(s) would you use?
-- How available is this method to you?
-- Who can you turn to for help?
-- When are your family members home?
Call a suicide hotline, college security or 911 right away if someone has a plan and the means to execute the plan, Posner says.